If I were to pick the star of my January 2016 garden, the award would probably go to Arbutus 'Marina'. Although these trees, along with many others, were trimmed in mid-December, they're still loaded with blooms, which makes the hummingbirds happy.
|Blooms are present most of the year but they seem more noticeable when much of the rest of the garden is bloom-free|
Another flowering tree, Bauhinia x blakeana, is still loaded with buds but the flowers took a beating from last week's rainstorm so it's not looking its best at the moment.
|Battered blooms on what's commonly known as the Hong Kong orchid tree|
The same could be said for Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'.
|The airy Gomphrena stems were beaten down by last week's rain and they're nearly impossible to untangle|
Many specimens in my burgeoning collection of Grevillea have a smattering of blooms but they seem to be at least a few weeks behind their 2015 bloom cycles. Grevillea lavandulacea 'Penola' (not shown), usually one of the stars of my winter garden, has yet to bloom at all, although it's finally developing buds.
|Clockwise from far left: Grevillea 'Superb', G. 'Ned Kelly', G. 'Peaches & Cream, G. 'Pink Midget' and G. alpina x rosmarinifolia|
Similarly, the Osteospermum, which generally bloom best in cooler weather, have been slow to get going this year.
|From left: Osteospermum ecklonis '3D Berry White', O. 'Blue-eyed Beauty' and O. 'Summertime Sweet Kardinal'|
There are plenty of Gazania plants in my garden but relatively few flowers. The squirrels have developed a taste for them and they disappear almost as soon as they open.
|Gazania 'New Day Yellow' (left) and G. 'White Flame' (right)|
Nonetheless, there are some reliable bloomers.
|Pink and white forms of Argyranthemum frutescens|
|Calliandra haematocephala (aka pink powder puff)|
|Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' blooms heaviest in cool weather|
|Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink' also blooms all year but it looks best if cut back severely in the winter - this one is about to get chopped|
|Lavandula multifida (left) and L. angustifolia 'Super Blue' (right)|
Annuals are stepping in to provide seasonal color, most notably the Iceland poppies and the violas.
|I planted a lot of the small violas from 6-pack plugs this year. The plants on the left and in the top row are all part of a mix called 'Pandora's Box'.|
My Camellia sansanqua shrubs, which were covered with flowers before the last week's rainstorms, now look sad; however, after a disappointing performance in 2015, things are looking up for Camellia x 'Taylor's Perfection' in 2016.
|Camellia x 'Taylor's Perfection'|
A few other plants are standing in the wings, poised to make a splash.
|From left: Arctotis 'Pink Sugar', noID Narcissus, and Solanum xanti|
I'll close with a photo of one of the poinsettias planted in a pot by the front door. While the variegated poinsettia on the other side of the door is struggling, possibly in response to our colder than usually winter weather, this one seems unfazed.
|The coral "petals" of this poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are actually bracts but they look almost like roses here|
For a look at what's blooming elsewhere, visit Carol at May Dreams Garden, the host of the monthly event that is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.
All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party